A former political prisoner in Santa Clara died yesterday and dissidents are blaming the government for his death. According to their accounts Juan Wilfredo Soto, 46, was accosted by police in the provincial capital’s central park on Thursday, he resisted their demand that he leave the area, and was beaten. His death was attributed to pancreatitis, and he suffered from hypertension and diabetes. The accounts are being provided by Guillermo Farinas and his spokeswoman (as El Pais describes her) Lisette Zamora, both of Santa Clara. The government has not given its account.
May 10: A government statement was released.
Correction: In an earlier version of this post I referred to dissidents’ accounts of police “entreaties” to get Soto to leave the park. That’s an incorrect paraphrase of the dissidents’ accounts as related by El Pais that morning; the word in the story is “demanded.”